The Great Globe and Tilly Whim Caves
A curio in Durlston Country park, near Swanage
(Photos/words © urban75, 15th-16th May, 2009)
A 280-acre country park and nature reserve on the coast of the Isle of Purbeck, Durlston Country Park forms part of the 'Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site', owned by Dorset County Council since the early 1970s.
In 1887, local businessman George Burt built a small castle at Durlston Head, to be used as a restaurant for his Durlston estate.
When we reached it, the building was undergoing extensive restoration.
The 'Lookout cafe' overlooking the Englsh Channel.
Detail from one of the engraved stones on the side of the building.
Engraved stone map of England and France.
Standing near the tip of Durlston Head is this incredible three metre diameter Globe, which weighs in at 40-ton.
Made from limestone, the Globe was commissioned by Burt and is engraved with an 1880s world map.
The footpaths around the Castle and Globe are lined with cast iron London bollards which ended up in Swanage after being used as ballast by the ships transporting stone to London.
Behind the Globe is a set of plaques carved with quotations from Shakespeare and the Bible and facts about the natural world.
Engraved plaque on the footpath towards Tilly Whim caves.
Close to the castle is the Tilly Whim Caves, which are actually old limestone quarries, mainly worked during the 18th century.
The ever-resourceful Burt opened Tilly Whims up to the public as a tourist attraction, but these have remained closed since a 1975 rock fall.
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